Your acupuncture treatment at Bodyworks may include deep tissue / sports massage, electro acupuncture, cupping or gua sha in addition to traditional acupunture depending on your condition and of course your wishes.
Acupuncture is a form of natural medicine that has been used in China and the Far East for thousands of years to promote and maintain wellbeing and good health. The benefits of this practice are now recognised in the modern world and now traditional acupuncture is used more and more in mainstream healthcare in the UK. Acupuncture involves inserting very fine needles into the body at precise locations, to resolve pain and promote healing.
Acupuncture is based on Chinese medicine. This system of medicine is rooted in the theory that any pain / illness is a sign that the body is out of balance and that this pattern and degree of imbalance is unique to each individual. The skill of the traditional acupuncturist lies in determining the nature of the underlying disharmony and selecting acupuncture points that will be effective in restoring balance and thus good health. The points used will be tailored to the individual.
Traditional acupuncture may also be used as a preventative measure to promote wellbeing and strengthen the bodies constitution.
There is increasing evidence from Western scientific research showing the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating a number of conditions. The scientific understanding of how acupuncture works is that the inserted needles stimulate the nervous system which has an influence on stimulating hormones and neurotransmitters which help promote overall physical and emotional well being.
What can acupuncture help with?
There are potentially many conditions that acupuncture can help with. I have had positive results helping people suffering from pain, digestive issues, fatigue, back problems, tennis elbow, headaches, and emotional issues. Please get in touch to discuss whether acupuncture may help your condition.
Is it painful?
This is the most common question that I get asked and a lot of people are put off by acupuncture due to their fear of needles. Most people's experience of needles is either when they have an injection such as the flu jab or have blood taken. This type of needle is known as a hypodermic needle and is much thicker than an acupuncture needle.
In comparison, acupuncture needles are very fine and solid and inserted just below the skin to lightly stimulate acupuncture points (about 3-6mm). Acupuncture needles are sterile one-off disposable needles. The most common needle used is one inch .22 millimeters gauge (the gauge is the diameter).
Is it safe?
The needles used are single-use, sterile, and disposable. Responses to treatment can sometimes include tiredness or mild dizziness, and very occasionally minor bruising may occur. However, all such reactions are short-lived.
I practice to a strict code of safety and am a member of the British Acupuncture Council. All needles are one-off pre-sterilized, individually packaged, and disposable. All needles are used once then incinerated. My three year training in acupuncture ensures a high degree of anatomical knowledge ensuring safe insertion.
What does it feel like?
Most people feel a slight sensation as the needle is inserted. You will generally feel a dull ache, tingling or “pull” once the acupuncture point has been stimulated. This generally puzzles people who have not had acupuncture before but once you have experienced the sensation it will make sense. Most people enjoy having treatment, some even doze off whilst the needles are in and a large percentage feel relaxed after having treatment
Where are the needles placed?
Most of the acupuncture points are located between the elbow & hand, and the knee & foot. Other points may be selected near the site of pain. Points are also selected based on known effects and clinical experience gathered over thousands of years.
How many needles will you use?
This does vary from person to person but generally somewhere between 4 to 15. The needles vary in length but the most common needle is one inch long and .22 gauge (the gauge is the diameter and so .22 of a millimeter).
How long are the needles left in?
Again this varies. Some needles are left in between 15 and 35 minutes. Other needles are quickly inserted and withdrawn to stimulate certain acupuncture points lasting a few seconds.
Will I need to undress?
Most of the acupuncture points are located between the elbow & hand, and the knee & foot. Therefore, for a lot of conditions, it is only necessary to roll up trousers & shirtsleeves. Of course, there are times when I will need to access other parts of your body but I will always get your verbal consent when treating more areas, and I will explain what I am going to do beforehand.
Do I have to believe in it for it to work?
Acupuncture works whether you believe in it or not. In fact, many people come to acupuncture as a last resort or who are completely sceptical and still have good results.
I have had acupuncture from my GP, physiotherapist, osteopath or chiropractor. Is this the same as the type of acupuncture you practice?
Yes and no.
The acupuncture as practiced by your GP, physiotherapist, osteopath or chiropractor is known as medical/western acupuncture or dry needling. This style of acupuncture is becoming commonplace due to many discovering its amazing benefits. Their training is generally a lot shorter (often just a weekend course) compared to a traditionally trained acupuncture which will be to degree level.
Their training is a lot shorter essentially because they have excellent anatomical knowledge and because they do not train in Chinese medical theory. Frequently treatment will be aimed at relieving myofascial trigger points (painful points on the body) and not stimulating acupuncture points. I have extensive training in this type of acupuncture as it does yield some impressive results but I have many other skills at my disposal other than just this one technique.
Many Western doctors accept that acupuncture treatment does work in a wide range of conditions and for a variety of patients. However modern medical knowledge makes it very hard for Western doctors to accept the teachings of Traditional Chinese medicine - which to many Western doctors do not fit with our modern understanding of how the body works.
On the other hand, there is a great deal of Western scientific research into pain, which demonstrates how acupuncture might work.
In comparison, traditional acupuncturists are trained to use subtle diagnostic techniques that have been developed and refined for centuries and believe that health is dependent on a person qi (internal energy).
Each patient is unique; two people with the same western diagnosis may well receive different acupuncture treatments. The underlying principle of treatment is that illness and pain occur when the body's qi, or vital energy, cannot flow freely. There can be many reasons for this; emotional and physical stress, poor nutrition, infection or injury are among the most common. By inserting ultra-fine sterile needles into specific acupuncture points, a traditional acupuncturist seeks to re-establish the free flow of qi to restore balance and trigger the body's natural healing response.
How many treatments will I need?
Again this varies depending on the condition. Generally, patients come for a series of weekly treatments to begin with and then if needed subsequent treatments. I would, therefore, say there should be some improvement between 4 to 6 treatments which are received over a 1 to 2 month period. Chronic/ long term conditions obviously take longer but frequent acupuncture has an accumulative effect. My intention is to get you back to optimal health as quickly as possible. Some people choose to have regular acupuncture to maintain good health.
Can I claim acupuncture treatment on my medical insurance?
Some insurance companies do accept acupuncture as a valid form of healthcare. Please contact your insurance provider to request details of your scheme.
Nothing has helped me so far. Why would acupuncture be any different?
Acupuncture can be beneficial for many health complaints, please contact me directly to answer questions on specific conditions.
How much will it cost?
Treatments cost £60 and the overall appointment will be up to an hour.